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Re: [hegel] Just a thought.

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  • greuterb
    ... Joao, You still seem to believe that for Hegel freedom is only given in the contemplative. But this is not true. Freedom for Hegel is given in the strength
    Message 1 of 73 , Sep 14, 2011
      Am 14.09.2011 04:45, Joao writes:

      > Dear Group,
      >
      > I have been alternating the reading of Observing Reason with Robert
      > Pippins's book, "Hegel's Idealism" of which i have spent a few hours
      > with his dealing with Understanding and the Inverted World and both
      > seem to share the same fundamental result - that there is nothing
      > essential in things but the movement of thought determining itself.
      >
      > And I wonder how much our times are the result of this position, not
      > in terms of philosophy in the strict, academic sense, but in terms of
      > daily life - actuality, to use Hegel's terms? This to say that the
      > vanishing of substance seems to have brought the vanishing of the
      > contemplative and the almost absolute dominance of technology as
      > criterion for objective knowledge and of superficial or selfish
      > pragmatism for affirmation in social interaction as the current
      > interpretation of the mentioned fundamental result.
      >



      Joao,

      You still seem to believe that for Hegel freedom is only given in the
      contemplative. But this is not true. Freedom for Hegel is given in the
      strength of the objective spirit and the universal with the simultaneous
      increase of the indifference of individuality and the activity of the
      individual. With this he has anticipated the spirit of modern world.



      > Is the world mature enough to deal with this? Are we able to develop
      > the best out of the dynamics of recognition or are have we became even
      > more inclined to a dog eat dog world?
      >
      > Best regards,
      > João.
      >



      Yes, this is the crucial question. But your stated extremes of "to
      develop the best out of the dynamics of recognition" on the one side and
      the general inclination "to a dog eat dog world" on the other side is
      quite unhegelian and shows your intellectual hubris.

      Regards,
      Beat Greuter


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • paul81755
      Perhaps more could be said about the relation of the Pittsburgh group to Zizek when it comes to Spirit (either global or specific in nature) being
      Message 73 of 73 , Sep 23, 2011
        Perhaps more could be said about the relation of the Pittsburgh
        group to Zizek when it comes to Spirit (either global
        or specific in nature) being consciousness that has a reason;
        being for-itself, it can only do so if the determination of
        its functional relations, is not determined by it.
        If it was its properties would have no substance as
        their difference and identity would either be negated
        (no global coherence), or non-uniform (for specific nature
        its program would crash). This appears to be the problem
        for Graham Harman's object-orientated metaphysics; so the
        phenomena of nature only interact with themselves;
        without a knowledge of that which is other than itself
        they become merely autonomous beings:

        "The reason is that any realist who thinks that reality
        can be modeled in terms of tangibly accessible traits is
        in some ways a nearer cousin of idealism than of
        other realist positions such as Bruno's, Grant's, or my own,
        in which the work of the logos is always extrinsic and reality
        always exceeds any attempt to grasp it. 'On the Undermining of Objects:
        Grant, Bruno, and Radical Philosophy'.
        The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism
        and Realsim. p38

        So Zizek stands in opposition to Harman's object-orientated metaphysics?,
        By undermining or over-mining the depth of
        the object you are stuck with the mysterious sensation
        of nature's properties. What does it mean for the object of
        all objects to be an object? It would seem to imply a belief
        in all the different ways its understanding can be interpreted
        is reduced to the appearance and the partition of its categories,
        so they meta-object becomes the unknowable other.

        Imagining that there is no coherence or uniformity,
        or that a knowledge of their ethical concept cannot be grasped,
        is only an imagining; standing the inquisitor of the
        pretending on their head. Pretending to know a void or
        providing no reason for what it means to pretend to know God.
        That is, the presupposition of nature based on the facts
        of sensation is the real claim of a God complex;
        throwing the first stone, as if the experience
        always exceeds our attempt to grasp its consequence of
        its reasoning! Or even more pertinently, that the cause
        that raises the chance of an effect is ground on the
        superstitious fancy of some convention or habit a la Hume!


        Paul Healey



        --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
        >
        > Alan,
        >
        > Well put. But we have to be more precise, perhaps, when we talk about
        > the post-modern turn, so as not to include the "Deconstructive" dead
        > end of some post-modernism. (Have you seen Bruno Bosteels' recent book,
        > The Actuality of Communism (Verso, 2011)? He does a nice job with
        > Zizek and Badiou vs. deconstructonist political theory).
        >
        > Please allow me to offer another Zizek quotation that I think also sums
        > up our basic challenge (sorry for the length):
        >
        > "The predominant Hegelian strategy that is emerging as a reaction to
        > [the] scarecrow image of Hegel the Absolute Idealist is the "deflated"
        > image of Hegel freed of ontological-metaphysical commitments, reduced
        > to a general theory of discourse, of possibilities of argumentation.
        > This approach is best exemplified by the so-called Pittsburgh Hegelians
        > (Brandom, McDowell): no wonder Habermas praises Brandom, since Habermas
        > also avoids directly approaching the "big" ontological question ("are
        > humans really a subspecies of animals, is Darwinism true?"), the
        > question of God or nature, of idealism or materialism. It would be easy
        > to prove that Habermas's neo-Kantian avoiding of ontological commitment
        > is in itself necessarily ambiguous: while Habermas and the Pittsburgh
        > Hegelians treat naturalism as the obscene secret not to be publicly
        > admitted ("of course man developed from nature, of course Darwin was
        > right . . ."), this obscure secret is a lie, it covers up the idealist
        > form of thought (the a priori transcendentals of communication which
        > cannot be deduced from natural being). The truth here is in the form:
        > just as in Marx's old example of royalists in the republican form,
        > while Habermasians secretly think they are really materialists, the
        > truth is in the idealist form of their thinking.
        >
        > "... [S]omething happens in Hegel, a breakthrough into a unique
        > dimension of thought, which is obliterated, rendered invisible in its
        > true dimension, by postmetaphysical thought. This obliteration leaves
        > an empty space which has to be filled in so that the continuity of the
        > development of philosophy can be reestablishedâ€"filled in with what? The
        > index of this obliteration is the ridiculous image of Hegel as the
        > absurd "Absolute Idealist" who "pretended to know everything," to
        > possess Absolute Knowledge, to read the mind of God, to deduce the
        > whole of reality out of the self-movement of (his) mindâ€"the image which
        > is an exemplary case of what Freud called Deck-Erinnerung
        > (screen-memory), a fantasy-formation intended to cover up a traumatic
        > truth. In this sense, the post-Hegelian turn to "concrete reality,
        > irreducible to notional mediation," should rather be read as a
        > desperate posthumous revenge of metaphysics, as an attempt to reinstall
        > metaphysics, albeit in the inverted form of the primacy of concrete
        > reality.
        >
        > "The next standard argument against Hegel's philosophy of religion
        > targets its teleological structure: it openly asserts the primacy of
        > Christianity, Christianity as the "true" religion, the final point of
        > the entire development of religions. It is easy to demonstrate how the
        > notion of "world religions," although it was invented in the era of
        > Romanticism in the course of the opening toward other (non-European)
        > religions, in order to serve as the neutral conceptual container
        > allowing us to "democratically" confer equal spiritual dignity on all
        > "great" religions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism . . .),
        > effectively privileges Christianityâ€"already a quick look makes it clear
        > how Hinduism, and especially Buddhism, simply do not fit the notion of
        > "religion" implied in the idea of "world religions." However, what
        > conclusion are we to draw from this? For a Hegelian, there is nothing
        > scandalous in this fact: every particular religion in effect contains
        > its own notion of what religion "in general" is, so that there is no
        > neutral universal notion of religionâ€"every such notion is already
        > twisted in the direction of (colorized by, hegemonized by) a particular
        > religion. This, however, in no way entails a nominalist / historicist
        > devaluation of universality; rather, it forces us to pass from
        > "abstract" to "concrete" universality, i.e., to articulate how the
        > passage from one to another particular religion is not merely something
        > that concerns the particular, but is simultaneously the "inner
        > development" of the universal notion itself, its "self-determination."
        >
        > "Postcolonial critics like to dismiss Christianity as the "whiteness"
        > of religions: the presupposed zero level of normality, of the "true"
        > religion, with regard to which all other religions are distortions or
        > variations. However, when today's New Age ideologists insist on the
        > distinction between religion and spirituality (they perceive themselves
        > as spiritual, not part of any organized religion), they (often not so)
        > silently impose a "pure" procedure of Zen-like spiritual meditation as
        > the "whiteness" of religion. The idea is that all religions presuppose,
        > rely on, exploit, manipulate, etc., the same core of mystical
        > experience, and that it is only "pure" forms of meditation like Zen a
        > modest plea for the hegelian reading of christianity Buddhism that
        > exemplify this core directly, bypassing institutional and dogmatic
        > mediations. Spiritual meditation, in its abstraction from
        > institutionalized religion, appears today as the zero-level undistorted
        > core of religion: the complex institutional and dogmatic edifice which
        > sustains every particular religion is dismissed as a contingent
        > secondary coating of this core. The reason for this shift of accent
        > from religious institution to the intimacy of spiritual experience is
        > that such a meditation is the ideological form that best fits today's
        > global capitalism." (Monstrosity, 26-27)
        >
        > I have noticed a certain pared-down reading of Hegel that wants to make
        > of him a kind of Super-Kant (Pippin on the one hand, Winfield on the
        > other, etc.). While there are some useful things there -- for me,
        > especially in Winfield -- I am uncomfortable with the accrued
        > blind-spot on the more difficult -- "should I say "Continental" --
        > questions that otherwise still intrude in the night, a blind spot
        > enforced like a code such that no door be left open to onto-theology.
        > While many of us are sympathetic to that 'code' (I am certainly), I,
        > and I think Zizek, do not want to cut off from view the radical
        > challenge that Hegel insists upon, and what makes his texts worth the
        > time for their study. The question remains one that reiterates that
        > between material/and ideal. Zizek writes, "materialism is not the
        > assertion of inert material density in its humid heavinessâ€"such a
        > “materialism” can always serve as a support for gnostic spiritualist
        > obscurantism. In contrast, a true materialism joyously assumes the
        > “disappearance of matter,” the fact that there is only void." (pg. 92)
        >
        > Wil
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: ponikvaraj <ponikvaraj@...>
        > To: hegel <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Sun, Sep 18, 2011 10:06 am
        > Subject: RE: [hegel] Re: Just a thought.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > These quotes capture very well the paradoxical character of Hegel's
        > absolute. They indicate a way of seeing what Hegel has put before us so
        > that
        > we can fruitfully think with Hegel. Zizek in all of his writings on
        > Hegel
        > helps us to see how the 'post-modern' turn - the turn away from some
        > transcendent thing in itself as an ultimate reality - if it does not
        > begin
        > with Hegel (Zizek wants to reassess the radicality of Fichte's Anstoss)
        > is
        > certainly vibrantly evident in Hegel.
        >
        > There is a curious irony here. Hegel, for whom thought always comes
        > after,
        > seems really to have anticipated times yet to come. He did not so much
        > introduce self-conscious spirit as the truth of his times as he
        > anticipated
        > a radically reconception of substance that others have been struggling
        > to
        > catch up with ever since.
        >
        > - Alan
        >
        > From: hegel@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hegel@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
        > Josie
        > Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2011 10:45 AM
        > To: hegel@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [hegel] Re: Just a thought.
        >
        > Thank you, Wil. As you said, the excerpts are from the Preface to the
        > new
        > edition of Zizek's "The Sublime Object of Ideology". I'm also looking
        > forward to the Hegel opus! From the later chapter, 'Not Only as
        > Substance,
        > but Also as Subject':
        >
        > "The status of the sublime object is displaced almost imperceptibly, but
        > none the less decisively: the Sublime is no longer an (empirical) object
        > indicating through its very inadequacy the dimension of a transcendent
        > Thing-in-itself (Idea) but an object which occupies the place, replaces,
        > fills out the empty place of the Thing as the void, as the pure Nothing
        > of
        > absolute negativity—the Sublime is an object whose positive body is
        > just an
        > embodiment of Nothing. This logic of an object which, by its very
        > inadequacy, `gives body' to the absolute negativity of the Idea is
        > articulated in Hegel in the form of the so-called `infinite judgement',
        > a
        > judgement in which subject and predicate are radically incompatible,
        > incomparable: `the Spirit is a bone', Wealth is the Self,' the State is
        > Monarch', `God is Christ'.
        >
        > [...]
        >
        > "...this negativity, this unbearable discord, coincides with
        > subjectivity
        > itself, it is the only way to make present and `palpable' the
        > utmost—that
        > is, self-referential—negativity which characterizes spiritual
        > subjectivity.
        > We succeed in transmitting the dimension of subjectivity by means of the
        > failure itself, through the radical insufficiency, through the absolute
        > maladjustment of the predicate in relation to the subject. This is why
        > `the
        > Spirit is a bone' is a perfect example of what Hegel calls the
        > `speculative
        > proposition', a proposition whose terms are incompatible, without common
        > measure. As Hegel points out in the Preface to the Phenomenology of
        > Spirit,
        > to grasp the true meaning of such a proposition we must go back and
        > read it
        > over again, because this true meaning arises from the very failure of
        > the
        > first, `immediate' reading."
        >
        > Mary
        >
        > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>; ,
        > eupraxis@
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > Mary,
        > >
        > > Nice quotation. (Good to see you here; it took me some time for me to
        > > recognize your handle.) Yes, that quote, and the piece as a whole
        > > (published as the new preface for Sublime Object for the re-release
        > of
        > > it), really brings out the radical importance of Hegel for,
        > especially,
        > > those of us in this post-theological world. I anticipate Zizek's
        > > forthcoming tome on Hegel.
        > >
        > > Wil
        > >
        > > -----Original Message-----
        > > From: Josie <josephson45r@>
        > > To: hegel <hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>; >
        > > Sent: Thu, Sep 15, 2011 3:18 am
        > > Subject: [hegel] Re: Just a thought.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Hello Alan and all,
        > >
        > > Zizek is unquestionably Hegelian, and his use of the term 'void'
        > > appears similar to your own 'disturbing nothingness'. He seems to
        > > equate void with the Absolute or 'rupturing' Real, which infinitely
        > > closes 'gaps' of difference as it unfolds further ones. This is what
        > I
        > > understand as an infinitely totalizing totality. This seems a unity
        > of
        > > the All and non-All, where just the All would be fixed and already
        > > 'given', merely to be displayed—a bad immanence—if you will.
        > >
        > > Apropos this thread, and from pages xxi-xxii of the same preface,
        > Zizek
        > > writes:
        > >
        > > "What this means is that the Hegelian Subject-Substance has nothing
        > to
        > > do with any kind of mega-Subject controlling the dialectical process:
        > > there is no pulling the strings or controlling the process—the
        > Hegelian
        > > System is a plane without a pilot. Here, Louis Althusser went wrong
        > > when he opposed the Hegelian Subject-Substance, the 'teleological'
        > > process-with-a-subject, to the materialist-dialectical 'process
        > without
        > > a subject. The Hegelian dialectical process is in fact the most
        > radical
        > > version of a 'process without a subject', in the sense of an agent
        > > controlling and directing the process, be it God or humanity or class
        > > as a collective subject. In his later writings, Althusser was
        > becoming
        > > aware of this, while remaining thoroughly unaware of how the fact
        > that
        > > the Hegelian dialectical process is a 'process without a subject
        > means
        > > exactly the same as Hegel's fundamental thesis that 'it is crucial to
        > > grasp the Absolute not only as a Substance, but also as Subject': the
        > > emergence of a pure subject qua void is strictly correlative to the
        > > notion of 'System' as the self-deployment of the object itself with
        > no
        > > need for any subjective agent to push it forward or direct it."
        > >
        > > Mary
        > >
        > > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>; ,
        > "ponikvaraj" <ponikvaraj@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > I think what has changed is that our idea of substance has become
        > more
        > > > subtle creating challenges as you put it "in actuality". Hegel's
        > > employment
        > > > of negativity - especially in reference to the infinite - has been
        > > taken up
        > > > by nonHegelians to become the place of emptiness or the void or as
        > > someone
        > > > else today mentioned, Lacan's non-All. Substance is not so much some
        > > > ultimate 'it' as it is a disturbing nothingness that effects man's
        > > place in
        > > > his world. In other words, it is just as pronounced a presence as
        > an
        > > it/god
        > > > but it is not an item that we can seek out. It is instead that
        > within
        > > which
        > > > we exist. So while Hegel's notion that the absolute is always with
        > us
        > > may
        > > > sound potentially like good news, it actually inaugurates an
        > > interesting
        > > > turn in how man is oriented to the ultimate in the modern world. We
        > > might
        > > > say that modern thought has man trapped within a negative dialectic
        > > whereas
        > > > Hegel offered a positive or speculative alternative, one still
        > > entangled
        > > > with what disturbs, but with the promise of a positive creative
        > > alternative
        > > > as a response to this disturbance.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > - Alan
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > From: hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;
        > [mailto:hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>; ] On
        > Behalf
        > > Of
        > > > vascojoao2003
        > > > Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 12:05 AM
        > > > To: hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;
        > > > Subject: [hegel] Re: Just a thought.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Hi Alan,
        > > >
        > > > Yes, I placed it very simply. I agree with your interpretation.
        > > > My point, though, was about the interpretation of this outcome not
        > in
        > > here,
        > > > in the Group, but in actuallity, let's say, in the world out there,
        > > because
        > > > these are not simple terms, it is a very challanging position. I was
        > > > thinking to myself, as in a joke, that maybe the world of today
        > only
        > > read
        > > > the first three chapters.
        > > >
        > > > Of course I am not at all presuming that the world out there is
        > > acting on an
        > > > explicit reading of Hegel, but I was wondering how much of our
        > world
        > > today
        > > > is shaped by a basic [and undeveloped] Idea of the vanishing of
        > > substance,
        > > > how much of it and in what conditions has it transpired to
        > actuality
        > > - a
        > > > vanishing that, in its own way, was already posited by Kant, in
        > > gnoseology
        > > > as well as in praxis, I mean, where is the actual subject of the
        > > categorical
        > > > imperative? Can it be actualized?
        > > >
        > > > My main point then is that we, I mean us, our times, might be under
        > a
        > > > challange from this general idea of the vanishing substance. Jung,
        > I
        > > think,
        > > > said something like evil being the undifferentiated idea, I think
        > he
        > > meant
        > > > that as such it acts upon us with many implicit and obscure
        > meanings
        > > leaving
        > > > us more as slaves than as free subjects - or using Hegel
        > terminology,
        > > it
        > > > acts behind our backs. This to say that a half understanding of
        > what
        > > is at
        > > > play might be some of what is driving the world today.
        > > >
        > > > Or maybe I'm just a bit pessimistic today.
        > > >
        > > > Regards,
        > > > João.
        > > >
        > > > --- In hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;
        > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;; ,
        > > "ponikvaraj"
        > > > <ponikvaraj@> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > To say "that there is nothing in things but the movement of
        > thought
        > > > > determining itself" means that mere things as such are nothing.
        > It
        > > is this
        > > > > spiritual movement that really matters or being imbued with
        > > significance,
        > > > a
        > > > > significance that is the result of an insight that comprehends the
        > > > movement.
        > > > > Such being is a product of reason at work at its own limits when a
        > > > dialectic
        > > > > rather than the intended object of knowledge appears only to
        > create
        > > the
        > > > > condition for an insight that designates the significance of the
        > > movement.
        > > > > Thus the dialectic of sense certainty gives way to a thing with
        > > > properties;
        > > > > the dialectic of being for self and being for another gives way
        > to
        > > the
        > > > > unconditioned universal; the dialectic of the understanding gives
        > > way to
        > > > > self-consciousness. Prior to each new insight there is this
        > > movement of
        > > > > thought and nothing more.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > For Hegel, substance has not vanished. It simply has taken on an
        > > absolute
        > > > > form or the form of the infinite movement. A world without
        > meaning
        > > is
        > > > simply
        > > > > a world without man, the creator of what signifies. So what is
        > > lacking is
        > > > > not so much contemplation but insight. Thought is enlivened when
        > > creative.
        > > > > And insight is the moment of creation. Thought and being become
        > one
        > > when
        > > > man
        > > > > makes it so in the act of creation.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > So overcoming the opposition of consciousness is not the dreary
        > > task of
        > > > > "collapsing" the distinction between the subject and object. It
        > > involves
        > > > > recognizing the dynamic that has the speculative insight enacted
        > by
        > > a
        > > > > subject as also having objective import. This is revealed at the
        > > > transitions
        > > > > in the Phenomenology, transitions that mark the inner difference
        > of
        > > > absolute
        > > > > knowing as it is with us throughout the Phenomenology.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > - Alan
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > From: hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;
        > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;;
        > > > [mailto:hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;
        > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;; ] On
        > > Behalf
        > > > Of
        > > > > vascojoao2003
        > > > > Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 10:45 PM
        > > > > To: hegel@yahoogroups.com <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;
        > <mailto:hegel%40yahoogroups.com>;;
        > > > > Subject: [hegel] Just a thought.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Dear Group,
        > > > >
        > > > > I have been alternating the reading of Observing Reason with
        > Robert
        > > > > Pippins's book, "Hegel's Idealism" of which i have spent a few
        > > hours with
        > > > > his dealing with Understanding and the Inverted World and both
        > seem
        > > to
        > > > share
        > > > > the same fundamental result - that there is nothing essential in
        > > things
        > > > but
        > > > > the movement of thought determining itself.
        > > > >
        > > > > And I wonder how much our times are the result of this position,
        > > not in
        > > > > terms of philosophy in the strict, academic sense, but in terms
        > of
        > > daily
        > > > > life - actuality, to use Hegel's terms? This to say that the
        > > vanishing of
        > > > > substance seems to have brought the vanishing of the
        > contemplative
        > > and the
        > > > > almost absolute dominance of technology as criterion for objective
        > > > knowledge
        > > > > and of superficial or selfish pragmatism for affirmation in social
        > > > > interaction as the current interpretation of the mentioned
        > > fundamental
        > > > > result.
        > > > >
        > > > > Is the world mature enough to deal with this? Are we able to
        > > develop the
        > > > > best out of the dynamics of recognition or are have we became
        > even
        > > more
        > > > > inclined to a dog eat dog world?
        > > > >
        > > > > Best regards,
        > > > > João.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > > > >
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